Bed Bath & Beyond to close in North Dartmouth. How the company originated from New Bedford.
NEW BEDFORD – A national chain started by New Bedford locals Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein is closing over 200 stores, including the one in North Dartmouth.
Last week, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it will close 87 more stores nationwide as the embattled home goods chain teeters on the brink of bankruptcy.
The Bed Bath & Beyond located at 458 State Road on Route 6 in North Dartmouth, which started their closing sale on Saturday, still doesn’t have a closing date but could be within the next two to three weeks, according to a store employee.
While other locations may not know their fates yet, some stores have become hubs to sell low-priced items from other stores until they officially close.
In Seekonk, the Bed Bath and Beyond has had “closing down” posters for over six weeks. Customers have noticed that every other week the empty shelves are refilled with low priced products.
More:'It's heartbreaking to say goodbye': A long-time New Bedford barber shop is closing.
“We go every week to check out what they might have added,” said Mackenzie Emmens of Riverside, Rhode Island. “It’s kind of exciting to see what is going to pop up in that store next to try and grab first.”
It all started with these New Bedford locals
Although the first two Bed Bath and Beyond stores were located in Springfield, New Jersey, and Cedarhurst, New York, founders Eisenberg and Feinstein grew up working at Arlan’s while living in New Bedford.
Arlan’s, a New England company that pioneered discount retailing, sold everything from pajamas to paint at deep discounts. After trying to compete with Walmart and K-Mart, Arlan’s filed for bankruptcy in 1973, and eventually went out of business.
In an article with the Wall Street Journal, Eisenberg, 96, and Feinstein, 85, say that they barely recognize what Bed Bath & Beyond has become since retiring from the company in 2014.
The shares would more than quadruple, hitting a high of $80.82 in 2014. Thanks to stock options, many of Bed Bath & Beyond’s longtime employees retired as millionaires. On Thursday, the shares closed at $2.52.
After visiting a Bed Bath & Beyond store recently, Feinstein critiqued the dish towel display. “They’re gray and white,” he said. “How many are in the package, maybe four? No, it’s eight. You want to buy eight gray-and-white kitchen towels?”
More:Permanent jewelry? Fairhaven metalsmith introduces latest trend to the SouthCoast
“We used to say, ‘The rule at this company is you never say no to a customer,’” Eisenberg said to The Wall Street Journal. “If you feel that you should not do it, then you get somebody else above you and it has to go all the way up to the manager before you’ll say no to a customer.”
Bed Bath & Beyond to file bankruptcy soon
According to a USA Today article, Bed Bath & Beyond warned on Jan. 5 that the home goods retailer may need to file for bankruptcy as sales continue to drop and it struggles to attract shoppers.
Shares lost a quarter of their value on the news to trade at $1.82, their lowest level since November 1992.
Bed Bath & Beyond expects to report net sales of $1.26 billion for the third quarter which ended Nov. 26. That would be a 32% drop from a year earlier. It also anticipates a net loss of roughly $385.8 million for the third quarter, wider than its loss of $276.4 million in the year-earlier period.
The company’s recently appointed CEO and president Sue Gove blamed the poor performance on inventory constraints and reduced credit limits that resulted in shortages of merchandise on the shelves.
“If you go to the store and look at what it looks like now and what it looked like before, you see it,” Eisenberg told The Wall Street Journal.
“It’s not the same store,” added Feinstein.
Standard-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.
This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: North Dartmouth Bed Bath and Beyond to close soon